What? You’ve never heard of Freecycle? Let me be the first to tell you that Freecycle is an awesome network of great people doing their part to keep the environment clean while helping meet the needs of other people in their communities. Instead of throwing their used stuff into a landfill, Freecycle members post their unwanted items online and freely give them to other members. Freecycle successfully keeps about 500 tons a day out of landfills by operating on a simple principle: One person’s trash can definitely be another person’s treasure!
There are over 5,000 Freecycle email groups around the world organized into local chapters. Volunteers who donate their time and energy to moderate these local email lists help others turn trash into treasure. You can find anything and everything on Freecycle including clothes, appliances, furniture, bikes, baby products, collectibles and more. Best of all, everything is absolutely free! No strings attached! Membership is free, and it’s always free to post or request items.
Freecycle Rules and Etiquette
To keep things on the level, Freecycle has a general list of basic rules and etiquette. Every item listed must be legal and appropriate for all ages. Members may not post offers or requests for drugs, medications, guns, pornography or alcohol. Political and religious posts are prohibited, and mean comments toward other members won’t be tolerated. It’s just like baseball; you're out after three strikes. Some local groups will allow you to post pets, while others do not. To get the most out of Freecycle, treat the moderators and other members with respect. This means following through with what you say you will do every time and treating your pick-up and drop-off times as serious appointments.
Who Can Benefit From Using Freecycle?
Anyone can benefit from membership in a local chapter, but Freecycle can be an absolute lifesaver for those who live on a limited budget. When you have a need, it’s much easier to turn to your Freecycle community instead of paying a store’s full-retail price for whatever it is you need. On the other hand, as you share your unwanted but usable items through Freecycle, you can feel good about helping out a neighbor and cutting down on additions to the nearby landfill. Freecycle makes it simple to reduce, re-use and recycle for nearly nine million members throughout the world.
Be Safe When Freecycling
I do have a word of caution to share with you. Please keep safety in mind every time you use Freecycle. It’s best to meet in a mutually convenient public location when dropping off or picking up anything. For added security, be sure to take your cell phone and a friend with you. If something seems odd or not quite right, don’t bother with it. Nothing free is worth risking your life or personal property.
How Can I Get Involved With Freecycle?
You can visit Freecycle.org for more information on joining a local chapter, or you can consider starting a new group if you can’t find one close to you. Getting involved with Freecycle means that you will soon be making a positive impact on your environment and in your community.